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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)

Early Days

Early Days.

Ernest Rutherford was born at Spring Grove (now called Brightwater), Nelson, on August 30th, 1871. He was the fourth child in a large family. His father, James Rutherford, had first engaged in timber-milling when he settled in that province; later on he was a flax-miller.

His mother, who was Martha Thomson, was a woman of uncommonly keen alert intellect, and of the physical powers that the pioneer life requires and develops. She was a schoolteacher until she married. She lived to the age of over ninety, clear and vigorous in mind to the last, watching with quiet pride and joy the career of her son, whose greatest pleasure from his youth up lay in the delight his successes gave his parents.